One of the outcomes of December’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a renewed interest in addressing behavioral health problems. While the state of Connecticut has yet to release information about the shooter’s mental state, it is clear that he suffered from a mental health breakdown. Half to two-thirds of spree shooters, like Adam Lanza, were formally diagnosed, hospitalized, or had shown rage, aggression, paranoia and/or delusional thinking prior to their attack.
Yet, horrific acts like that at Sandy Hook don’t mean that people with mental health problems are more likely to be violent. In fact, experts argue that people with mental illnesses are much more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.
Few people realize how commonplace mental health problems are in the United States. It is estimated that approximately one in four adults and one in five children will be challenged with an identifiable behavioral health disorder every year. This has